Hellerau Garden City

The garden city in Hellerau is the first and most consistent implementation in Germany of the garden city idea of the English social utopian Sir Ebenezer Howard. Howard had designed the model of planned urban development in 1898 in response to poor housing and living conditions as well as the horrendous rise in land prices in major cities that had grown considerably due to industrialization. In 1909, the furniture manufacturer Karl Schmidt, who was a member of the “Deutscher Werkbund” (German Association of Craftsmen) and maintained contacts with contemporary architects, moved his “Dresden craft workshops” to the outskirts of Dresden. He successfully persuaded Richard Riemerschmidt to design a modern production facility and the associated workers’ housing that met the reformist ideas of the garden city movement. Other prominent architects were also involved in the implementation. Small houses were built for skilled workers, as well as more spacious houses for the senior staff, but also shops, social and cultural buildings, and the huge Hellerau Festival House, built for Emile Jaques-Dalcroze as a “training institute for rhythmic gymnastics”. Until the experiment was stopped by World War I, the international cultural elite met in Hellerau. Today, the European Center for the Arts builds on these ideas. Karl Schmidt's company is still known and successful under the name “Deutsche Werkstätten”.

Hellerau Garden City
01109 Dresden